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How to cover each others mailboxes while on vacation and how to manage departments email

Posted on 2012-03-21
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Last Modified: 2012-05-24
I'd like to know if the following goals are possible if we only have IMAP or PoP3 and no Exchange:

Goals:
-      To have a single centralized repository of department@company.com emails accessible to multiple people
-      To support covering of other people’s work when they are out
-      To protect the repository by assigning a single administrative user so that the repository can’t be inadvertently wiped out by local user settings
-        This was attempted before with an IMAP folder that everyone could access, but two problems forced us to stop using it: 1) Anyone could delete (or purge) any or all emails by mistake, and 2) large attachments brought everyones Outlook to a crawl- and we get ALOT of large attachments.

Ideas:
-      A power user suggested that this could be remedied by limiting full downloads with attachments to a file size limit.  Then any larger files could be downloaded as needed by the individual- can this be managed in an IMAP server somehow. Is this functionality even in IMAP? to put it another way, is there a way to give users just read and send access to IMAP but not "full control"?
-      Administrator could create Outlook rules for all incoming messages to file all incoming messages per manufacturer.
I take it that what we need is an Exchange server that will simply allow us to read each others mailboxes (even to share a common one) but we are just not about to get that approved.
Thank you!
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Question by:HardwareDude
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Expert Comment

by:rtay
ID: 37750929
You are correct, you need exchange.  You could solve all the issues you mentioned and more.  I understand the capital outlay problem you face, but maybe take a look at hosted exchange.  Get the features without the hardware and consultant cost.  The charge per user per month.  

http://www.microsoft.com/exchange/en-us/exchange-online-hosted-email.aspx
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by:HardwareDude
ID: 37763335
I know, but are there any other alternatives?
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rtay earned 500 total points
ID: 37763411
Outlook is not designed to do what you want without exchange.  ms wants you to buy exchange server.  There are other low cost 3rd party solutions.   Read this:  

http://www.outlookipedia.com/outlook/share-outlook-calendar.aspx#Simple_Alternatives_to_Exchange_to_share_Outlook_calendars
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